Thursday, December 31, 2009

Which OS for Wii (embedded PowerPC) homebrew project?

Googling about for an open source OS that would work for a Wii (embedded PowerPC 740/750 work alike) homebrew project and I’ve narrowed my choices down two categories: a real-time OS or an embedded Linux based OS.

While I’m more comfortable with the toolchains and feature sets provided by a “full blown” embedded Linux, BlueCat Linux for example, I like the configurability and architectural layering philosophy of eCos, while RTEMS has cool points for being used in space projects.

My main concerns with eCos are: it does not have a USB stack (only USB Slave code is included); no Bluetooth stack; and does not appear to support dynamic loadable libraries.  Probably, need to just go check out the GameCube/Wii Linux scene.

Using mixed toolchain – GNU build system with Visual C/C++ compilers

I’ve been searching for an automated way to use the GNU build system to build autoconf based GNU libraries like libiconv using Visual C/C++ compilers instead of GCC.  The end goal is to create Windows DLLs that I can integrate into Visual C/C++ projects.

Found two alternatives that I want to check out: simacros from Systems in Motion; and parity by Markus Duft and Michael Haubenwallner.  The two have a similar goal and similar approach.  Both include source to shim/proxy software that translates GNU GCC command line options into Visual C/C++ command line options; and both require modified autotools. 

A big difference is that simacros uses cygwin for it’s execution environment and parity is designed for the Windows Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications (SUA).  Another difference is ease of access.  Parity is readily available as a stand alone SourceForge project.  I found simacros is a bit difficult to extract out of the various web links and downloads at the Coin3d website. 

Based on initial code spelunking and the ease of getting to the parity source code I’m leaning toward porting parity to cygwin.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

DVD Flick – easy way to make simple video DVDs

DVD Flick is a straight forward way to make simple video DVDs from all the random AVI clips I collected over the holiday.  Now I can haunt everyone with DVDs of family Christmas videos.  Source available at SourceForge project page

Monday, December 28, 2009

How does your development language of choice rank? develops rankings for various  development language.  At the moment my interpretation is the c, c++, and Java trifecta still dominates.

You can see some more subjective ratings of various languages at the Hammer Principle.

The TIOBE Programming Community Index also ranks languages by counting hits on search engines. (April 2012)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

No more Qtopia

Apparently, Qtopia was killed off in late 2008, re-released as Qt Extended, then dropped by Nokia/Trolltech early 2009.  Finally, source was “liberated” by a fork as Qt Extended Improved.  I was considering it for the GUI layer of an embedded PowerPC project with an Embedded Linux (or maybe eCos) substrate.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Scratch Programming Language for Learning/Play

During some early morning googling to see if anyone had started a port of Java as Wii homebrew I came across ScratchDescribed as: “Scratch is a new programming language that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art -- and share your creations on the web.” 

EnvMan Windows Environment Variable Editor

I wanted a convenient way to edit Environment Variables on a Windows box.   Some googling brought me to EnvMan at SourceForge. Worked for me.  YMMV.